Claire woke up a wreck at 3AM last night gagging on post-nasal drip. The sound coming out of her nose alternated between a whistle and a death rattle. George and I got to work on it with baby saline solution and that weird bulb designed to extract baby snot. Lloyd the cat supervised, as Claire looked at us like “Et tu, Brute?” and started howling.
In a couple of minutes, she settled down and rivers of evidence made it clear that our work was fruitful. However, it was also clear that Claire didn’t feel a bit of gratitude for our efforts.
We have enjoyed many awesome firsts in the recent months – smiling, laughing and babbling. My personal favorite is watching Claire crawl commando style across the living room floor to ambush a sleeping Lloyd.
But last night’s adventure with sinuses, was one of the first firsts that we did not greet with relish. Her first cold was also part of a bigger recent trend; one I will call the “It’s for your own good” phase, also known as “She doesn’t know any better”.
This nascent period finds us at odds with Claire, vainly attempting to explain to her that we have the moral high ground. The encounters like last night seem tailor-made for the phrase “This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you”. Of course, like with all children, this truism makes little difference to Claire.
There are other situations where I imagine people like the Godfather or Dr. Phil superseding. I see Claire on Brando’s lap…“Work with me here. You know your parents have to change your diaper”. The Don would be no match for her, however.
Her lack of cooperation in some endeavors is just plain mind-boggling to me…“Why can’t I wipe your nose? Doesn’t it feel better not to have snot running down your face?” She looks at me like “First of all, I don’t need to explain a thing to you and second, why are you assaulting me?”
Try telling her that the computer wires aren’t edible or that no good has ever come from pulling a cat’s tail. No matter, though, because she wants what she wants, and her parents are the ones thwarting her best laid plans.
Right now, distraction works wonders, so there’s no lasting line in the sand. I can usually give her a Kleenex to tear up and she’s right as rain.
I know we are a short trip to “eat your peas” and have a ways to go before “it’s past your curfew”. Those challenges will surely be more complicated. I don’t know which is harder: the battles themselves or the fact that she just doesn’t understand. Of course, there will come a day when she will be 100% sure that, without a doubt, we don’t understand either.
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Photo Source: Nasal Spray, Wikipedia